Health Canada

Health Canada

February 18, 2009 15:17 ET

Government of Canada Works With Nunavut to Help Curb Smoking Among Aboriginal Youth in the Territory

RANKIN INLET, NUNAVUT--(Marketwire - Feb. 18, 2009) - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced support for two separate tobacco-related projects designed to help prevent Aboriginal youth from smoking.

"The Government of Canada is committed to working with communities, territories and provinces to improve the health of Canadians," said Minister Aglukkaq. "These funds will help schools and communities teach Aboriginal youth about the dangers of smoking and help them make informed choices about tobacco use."

The first project, The Quit to Win! Challenge, is a contest for aboriginal youth aged 8-17 who agree to quit smoking or stay tobacco-free for six weeks. Prizes will be randomly awarded for participants who successfully meet these objectives. Another component of the Challenge will involve local schools, which will support individual entrants and implement tobacco education activities. Schools in each region will compete for cash prizes to be used for sports, music, computer, or playground equipment. The National Indian and Inuit Community Health Representatives Organization (NIICHRO) will receive $472,000 in federal funds over a two-year period for this project. The Government of Nunavut's Department of Health and Social Services and the Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick will work with NIICHRO as community champions.

The second project, For Youth By Youth Trainer Training Program, will teach Aboriginal youth the skills required to educate and positively influence their peers about the dangers of tobacco. The project is expected to provide 32 youth in 16 communities with training in tobacco cessation activities. The Government of Nunavut's Department of Health and Social Services will partner with community health representatives, nurses and teachers in communities throughout Nunavut to implement this project. The For Youth By Youth Trainer Training Program will receive up to $261,837 over two years.

Health Canada is committed to reducing tobacco use among Canadians. Under the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy, the department is taking a multi-faceted approach to ensure that fewer youth begin smoking and that smokers who want to quit and stay tobacco-free get the help they need.

Please visit Health Canada's website (www.gosmokefree.gc.ca) for more information about tobacco control efforts.

For more information on the Quit to Win! Challenge, contact NIICHRO Executive Director Debbie Dedam-Montour at (450) 632-0892.

For more information on the For Youth By Youth Trainer Training Program, contact Mr. Ainiak Korgak, Manager, Health Promotion, Government of Nunavut at (867) 975-5723.

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983
    or
    Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Federal Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    613-957-0200
    or
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    1-866-225-0709